LONDON -- Local governments in Britain say they will be issuing "food stamps" – vouchers for food and other essentials – to the poor to replace cash loans as part of the country's welfare reforms.
Many Britons with low incomes who qualify for emergency help will no longer be able to obtain cash from authorities, who will instead dish out payment cards for food, gas and electricity. Some will offer one-time payments for furniture and household goods.
Britain now runs a national social fund that gives small emergency loans to poor people to tide them over short-term crises, but that fund will be abolished next week. Instead, local governments must come up with their own replacement plans.
The Conservative-led government said Wednesday the changes will make the welfare system more efficient.
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The share of the population in poverty in 2010.
The percent of children under 18 in poverty.
The number of people in poverty in 2010.
The poverty threshold for a family of four.
The number of people kept out of poverty by unemployment insurance.
The number of people kept out of poverty by Social Security.
-11.3 Percent, -6.6 Percent, -4.5 Percent
The change in family income between 2007 and 2010 for the bottom 20 percent, middle 20 percent, and the top 20 percent, respectively.
The decline in median working-age household income from 2000 to 2010.
The decline in median African-American household income from 2000 to 2010.
The decline in median Hispanic household income from 2000 to 2010.
The number of people under 65 without any health insurance.
The decline in the number of people under 65 with employer-sponsored health insurance from 2000-2010.
10.5 Percentage Points
The decline in the share of the under 65 population with employer-sponsored health insurance from 2000-2010.